On Monday, the UceLi Quartet performed at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu. The opera house was filled to capacity... with 3,000 plants. They played Giacomo Puccini's "Crisantemi." From National Public Radio:
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"After a strange, painful period, the creator [conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia], the Liceu's artistic director and the curator Blanca de la Torre offer us a different perspective for our return to activity, a perspective that brings us closer to something as essential as our relationship with nature," according to a release on the Liceu's website.
The plants came from local nurseries and will be donated along with a certificate from the artist to 2,292 health care professionals, specifically at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.
Don't get me wrong — it's fun to be in the audience during a big, zany wrestling match, cheering on the drama both despite and to embrace the kayfabe. But this gloriously bizarre performance art satisfies a very different part of my brain.
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It was 1993. I was working on my book Media Virus, and about to return home to LA from San Francisco, when Timothy Leary called to ask if I could make room for a “friend in need” who needed a ride. That friend turned out to be Genesis P-Orridge.
I had known of Gen through his music and reputation alone, and was frankly a little afraid to meet him. If the “coyote” boys I knew in the Temple of Psychick Youth were modeling themselves after him, I could only imagine how fierce Gen might be. But when I pulled into the parking garage where we supposed to meet, and saw the diminutive Genesis P-Orridge standing there with his two gorgeous young daughters and all their suitcases, my perception of him changed entirely.
And over the next eight hours, so did my perception of world.
Gen had just been quasi-exiled from England after a video he had made for Channel 4 (in which he carried out a mock abortion and ate the fetus), went viral in the tabloids. While Gen was in Thailand, the authorities ransacked his place, seized his archives, and made it clear he was no longer welcome in the UK. So he flew to California instead, essentially homeless, and was feeling pretty out of sorts as we drove. As his two daughters fought in the back, he told me, “If only people realized I was also a regular dad with two kids fighting in the back seat.”
The rest may as well have been straight from the tweets of QAnon. Read the rest
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge -- the pioneering performance artist, musician, and occultist -- died this morning. S/he was 70-years-old. Gen's daughters Caresse and Genesse released the following statement:
Dear friends, family and loving supporters,
It is with very heavy hearts that we announce thee passing of our beloved father, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.
S/he had been battling leukemia for two and a half years and dropped he/r body early this morning, Saturday March 14th, 2020.
S/he will be laid to rest with h/er other half, Jaqueline “Lady Jaye” Breyer who left us in 2007, where they will be re-united.
Thank you for your love and support and for respecting our privacy as we are grieving.
Caresse & Genesse P-Orridge
Here's the New York Times obituary: "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Musician, Artist and Provocateur, Dies at 70"
(Image: Seth Tissue, CC BY-SA 2.0, modified)
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A few weeks ago at Appleton, Wisconsin's Lawrence University, a group of experimental musicians, dancers, and performance artists staged "Breathe," a "multidisicplinary water opera" in the college's swimming pool. (The video above is from a previous performance at Middlebury College's Natatorium). From Fox Cities Magazine:
Lawrence University’s Margaret Sunghe Paek, professor of dance and curator of Dance Series, will work with music director Loren Dempster and director/choreographer Gabriel Forestieri to bring (the performance) to life...
“I wanted to see if I could make sound underwater,” Dempster says. “I experimented with microphones underwater, I bought a hydrophone, I [even] played the cello underwater.”
Dempster will be the only underwater musician in the entire opera as he will be in the shallow end, playing his cello while underwater microphones transmit the sounds above the surface.
Forestieri choreographed the opera, combining the practice of dance and free diving, called dancing in apnea, to create the water visuals.
“[I’m] taking cues from the space and the people in the space and how they relate to each other,” Forestieri says. “The choreography is a mix of [dancing] on deck, sometimes in the pool, partner dancing in the shallow end, and dancers floating with float belt.”
(via Weird Universe)
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Carolee Schneemann -- a performance art pioneer whose deeply provocative and thoughtful work focused on gender, sex, the body, and power -- died yesterday at age 79. My first exposure to Schneemann's work was in the mid-1980s on a grainy VHS dub of avant-garde art films that also included pieces by Karen Finley and Annie Sprinkle. That videocassette, along with the RE/Search book Angry Women and a few other underground tapes and texts, opened my eyes and mind to a multitude of new genres in feminist art and radical thought. From an obituary by Andrew Russeth in Art News:
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Schneemann’s corpus of work is so gloriously diverse that it is impossible to summarize with a single defining piece, but among her most famous (and infamous) works is Meat Joy, a 1964 film of a performance featuring eight scantily clad dancers who writhe together, with animals parts soon joining the melee. It’s a bacchanalian display—unapologetic and exploding with pleasure—and an utterly indelible work of art.
“Meat Joy has the character of an erotic rite: excessive, indulgent; a celebration of flesh as material: raw fish, chickens, sausages, wet paint, transparent plastic, rope, brushes, paper scrap,” Schneemann wrote. “Its propulsion is toward the ecstatic, shifting and turning between tenderness, wildness, precision, abandon—qualities that could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellent.”
Describing the work on another occasion, in terms that could very well serve as a manifesto for her entire career, she said, “The culture was starved in terms of sensuousness because sensuality was always confused with pornography.
At a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting, a couple of guys from San Clemente had some sweet words in defense of Bird Scooters.
Now, Chad Kroeger and JT Parr are no strangers to city council meetings. You may remember when they fought for their right to (house) party. A quick scan of their YouTube page reveals that they've since appeared at other council meetings and been guests on the Howard Stern Show twice.
Gentlemen, respect. I'm dying over here. How do you keep a straight face when you deliver your statements?
(swissmiss) Read the rest
What's in the water in one Canadian city? Uncooked hot dogs, apparently.
Last weekend, a reality-hacking hero offered bottles of unfiltered, "keto-compatible" "Hot Dog Water" at a Vancouver street festival for CAN$37.99 (~US$28) a pop. The vendor, performance artist/"foodie-troller" Douglas Bevans, claimed his special water (which included a real hot dog inside each bottle) had health benefits.
"Several" people "bought-and-consumed" his expensive meat water though his hilarious venture didn't turn a profit, according to the blog Vancouver is Awesome. The blog also shared Bevans' reason for selling it in the first place, which appeared at the bottom of the health claim:
If you get all the way to the fine print, you’ll find this: “HOT DOG WATER IN ITS ABSURDITY HOPES TO ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING RELATED TO PRODUCT MARKETING AND THE SIGNIFICANT ROLE IT CAN PLAY IN OUR PURCHASING CHOICES.”
Bravo, well done!
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Get your Weiner 🌭 Water 💦 ...stay hydrated! Smoky & refreshing! #hotdogwater #candidcamera #carfreedaymainstreet #stayhydrated
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The best booth at Car Free Day. Someone was doing a food trolling booth featuring hot dog flavoured water. It's a joke but people thought that it was real. The guy at the booth said that we were the first to immediately realize that this was foodie trolling. #CarFreeDayVancouver #CarFreeDay #carfreedaymainst
lead image by Bernadette Price, 2nd image by Franklin Sayre, both used with permission Read the rest
Filmmaker Zhang Yimou directed Weaving Machine, a choreographed piece with an array of 640 kinetic lights, and the results are pretty mind-blowing. Read the rest
"The Mechanics of History" by Yoann Bourgeois is a marvellously simple idea perfectly executed: acrobats climb stairs around a revolving trampoline, falling languidly from the stairs in rhythm.
Here it is in daylight:
Below is an earlier exploration of the theme titled "Fugue/Trampoline":
Accompanied by Philip Glass’s moody “Metamorphosis Two” performed by Brisa on the harp, “Fugue/Trampoline” and its iterations, is perhaps what Bourgeois is most famous for. Using a nine-step staircase and a trampoline, Bourgeois resists and submits to gravity, creating a breathtaking, balletic spectacle. Beginning with a limp, careless-looking slump of his body onto the trampoline, Bourgeois’ body bounds back up to the wooden platform with the softest elegance. He repeats the exercise, embracing gravity with different strokes, hurtling, spinning or curling into a fall. When returning to the platform or a step, he always lands on his feet, more often than not regaining his vertical balance with a single foot, or just his toes. At BAM he wore an unzipped cardigan which spiraled around his body, tracing the centrifugal motion and amplifying the visual sense of flight.
• Yoann Bourgeois "La mécanique de l'histoire" (Energie) - Le Panthéon Paris (YouTube / a music lover in Paris) Read the rest
Cindy Sherman is posting publicly on Instagram as _cindysherman_ after having her account set to private under a different account name. Many recent images use distortions and filters. Read the rest
Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich made quite the entrance at the Met Gala, but it didn't get the kind of coverage as the reality TV toilet selfie. In fact, the artist had no coverage until security laid a beautiful drape across him and had him arrested. Read the rest
Late last year, Shaun Leonardo reprised his art project called "I Can't Breathe." Audience members are paired up and taken through a series of self-defense instructions. It culminates with audience members put in chokeholds by their partners, where they learn that any defensive moves to keep their airways open can be classified as resisting arrest. Read the rest
"The Hard Problem" is a new episode of the Into The Impossible podcast
from the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
: it features the outcome of a collaboration
between legendary performance artist Marina Abramović (previously
) and environmentalist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson (previously
): a short story about an interstellar journey incorporating elements of Robinson's outstanding 2015 novel Aurora
-- a novel that is pitiless in its insistence on rigor
in our thinking about the problems of living in space and on other planets.
Dean Hutton is a South African artist whose most notorious project involves walking around in a custom-printed black and white suit and absorbing the responses from strangers. Read the rest
What happens if you allow a group of onlookers to do anything they want to you for six hours? Marina Abramovich found out in 1974 when she laid out dozens of items on a table, including a gun with one bullet, and allowed strangers to use the items on her however they saw fit. Read the rest
Hiromi Tango creates sculptures of colorful textiles, neon, and mirrors, then interacts with the pieces as performance art, like this exploration of the amygdala, part of her Dynamic Emotions series. Read the rest